• Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221, Montesquieu Building, room M 710

    5037 DE Tilburg



Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Esther Keymolen is Assistant Professor in Ethics, Law, and Policy of new Data Technologies at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (Tilburg University). Esther has a background in philosophy of technology and postphenomenology. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in pop music. Her research focuses on the role of trust and privacy in networked and smart environments. In her book Trust on The Line, she develops a conceptual trust model, which she applies to analyse different topical cases, such as: Airbnb, smartphones used as hotel keys, and personalized online advertisement. Esther’s work has appeared in several newspapers, documentaries, and on Dutch television.


Esther teaches "Law, Ethics and Entrepreneurship" at the Master's Program Data Science and Entrepreneurship


Previously Esther worked:

-for the Scientific Council for Government Policy (2008-2011)

-as a doctoal researcher at Erasmus University (2010-2016)

-as an assistant professor and director of education at eLaw, the centre for law and digital technologies, at Leiden University


PhD supervision

Education/Academic qualification

Philosophy, Doctoral Degree, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Philosophy, Master’s Degree, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Art forms, Bachelor’s Degree, Codarts, Rotterdam

Philosophy, Bachelor’s Degree, Erasmus University Rotterdam


  • trust
  • privacy
  • postphenomenology
  • data ethics
  • theory of mediation
  • digital government

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Research Output

Can I still trust you, my dear doll? A philosophical and legal exploration of smart toys and trust

Keymolen, E. & Van Der Hof, S., 2019, In : Journal of Cyber Policy. 4, 2, p. 143-159 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access

Can we negotiate? Trust and the rule of law in the smart city paradigm

Keymolen, E. & Voorwinden, A., 2019, In : International Review of Law, Computers & Technology. p. 1-21 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access

Reassessing values for emerging big data technologies: Integrating design-based and application-based approaches

La Fors, K., Custers, B. & Keymolen, E., 2019, In : Ethics and Information Technology. p. 1-18 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
  • Recht uit het hart: Liber Amicorum ter gelegenheid van het emiritaat van prof. dr. mr. Wouter Hins, Hoogleraar te Leiden

    van der Hof, S. (ed.), Custers, B. H. M. (ed.), Deschesne, F. (ed.) & Keymolen, E. (ed.), 2019

    Research output: Book/ReportBook editing

    Waarom hebben we een 'recht op uitleg' wanneer machines over ons beslissen

    Translated title of the contribution: Why do we have a 'right to explanation' when machines make decisions about us?Jongepier, F. & Keymolen, E., 2019, In : Filosofie & Praktijk. 39, 4, p. 35-45 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review